What to Expect

Because it takes a bit longer, we require that you make an appointment for your initial acupuncture visit.  We often have same-day appointment availability.

Please arrive 20 minutes early for your first appointment to allow time for completing initial paperwork and reviewing our Welcome Letter.

You may choose to save time and download our new client forms, then print, fill them out and bring them with you to your first appointment.

During your initial visit, the acupuncturist on duty will briefly meet with you privately before your treatment to discuss your concerns. The acupuncturist may take your pulses, look at your tongue, ask some questions, recommend a treatment plan and give you a brief orientation.

The acupuncture treatment will take place in our community room. The treatment space is a quiet area – please talk sparingly and always in a whisper to avoid disturbing others. You can choose any available recliner, but please check with the acupuncturist before you select the last available table. Your treatment length is flexible, depending on your needs. We encourage you to rest for at least 20-30 minutes, but you can rest longer if you prefer.

If you need attention during your treatment, or feel ready to have your needles removed, please wave or make eye contact to get the acupuncturist’s attention.

During your follow-up visits, you will check in at the front desk and then head straight into our treatment space, settle into your recliner and prepare for your session. The acupuncturist will meet you there and check on your progress, ask relevant questions, insert your needles and leave you to rest.

How often should I receive acupuncture?

Acupuncture works best if you receive it frequently and often enough to result in progressive improvement in your health. On your first visit, the acupuncturist will recommend a treatment frequency for your condition. All of our acupuncturists work together as a team, so we recommend that you book your treatments to best suit your schedule.

Below are some basic guidelines that apply to most conditions:

If your problem is new: for example, a recently pulled muscle– then you will experience the best benefit from multiple visits in a short period of time—two or three treatments in a week for one or two weeks. By this time, your problem should be much better, and you can check in with the practitioner on duty about adjusting your treatment plan.

If you have a long-term problem: it is usually best to start with frequent treatments (usually twice a week) for a period of time and then gradually decrease the frequency of treatments as your condition improves.

If you are seeking relief from uncontrollable events: then it is best to think of acupuncture as a tool for health maintenance. While acupuncture cannot change the fact that your life or job causes you stress, or that you sat next to someone with the flu on the bus, it can help you relieve stress and strengthen your body’s natural resistance. During those times, come in once or twice a week, or as often as you need to alleviate the symptoms.

We believe that acupuncture works best when you receive frequent and regular treatments.

Private v. Community – What’s the Difference?

In private settings, the practitioner will typically spend 30-45 minutes on an intake, assessment and consultation. The client is then treated in a private room, usually on a massage table. Sometimes there may be needles inserted both on the front and the back of the body. The private acupuncturist may provide additional therapies, such as cupping, massage, and moxibustion, and may recommend lifestyle changes. The needle retention time is usually precisely limited in this setting, as the private room may need to be available for the next appointment.

Our community acupuncture clinic is set up similarly to acupuncture clinics in many Asian countries. Because we have a high-volume clinic, we get a lot of practice giving a wide variety of treatments every single day. We are very skilled in making a quick and efficient assessment and providing an effective personalized treatment. We specifically study acupuncture methods well-suited for delivering results in a community setting in order to offer skilled care at affordable rates to more people. However, we are usually not able to offer any one client extra consultation time or additional modalities, except for occasional herbal remedy prescription.

We encourage our clients to take a deep rest during their acupuncture sessions and to decide on their own how long they wish to relax after needle insertion. Many of our clients report significant benefits from being allowed to self-regulate the length of time for resting with the needles.

For those who prefer more privacy and more “talking time” along with their acupuncture, there are many excellent practitioners in the Bay Area offering private treatments.